Cheesy Fritters & Simple Arugula Salad

This salad hit my news feed yesterday from Food 52, and I had to try it. Emma Laperruque devised something delicious out of ingredients I pretty much had in my pantry, or that I knew would be available when I hit the store.

I was intrigued by the quinoa-goat cheese fritters. I had often seen cheese fritters at local restaurants served with salads, coated in crunchy bread crumbs on the outside with oozy, squishy, cheesy goodness on the inside. But cheese mixed with quinoa, then fried? It sounded so much easier, I had to try it.

I added a few chives and parsley to the quinoa and cheese mixture, and let them sit in the refrigerator for about 1/2 hour before frying them to their crunchy best in a good quality olive oil. The simple, peppery arugula is a perfect complement to the fritters with a dressing that comes together in a flash: olive oil, salt and lemon juice. Midweek dinners just don’t get any easier!

Cheesy Fritters & Simple Arugula Salad
Yield: 4 servings
Time: About 15-20 minutes

Ingredients
Fritters
1/2 C Quinoa, rinsed
1C Water
Pinch of salt
1 Tbsp Chives
1 tsp Parsley
1 block of fresh goat cheese (About 3 – 3 1/2 ounces)

Salad
1 Bag Arugula, about 6 Cups (I used organic girl)
1 Tbsp olive oil (I am a California Olive Ranch devotee)
1 Tbsp lemon juice
Pinch of salt

Method
1. Cook the quinoa in 1 C water with a pinch of salt on medium heat for about 15 minutes.

2. Add the chives when there are just a couple of minutes left and replace the lid (to rehydrate them). Add the parsley at the 15 minute mark and stir/ fluff the quinoa with a fork.

3. Add the goat cheese to the pot and stir until melted. Let cool slightly.

4. Scoop about 1 1/2 Tbsp of the mixture and form a patty (fritter) with your hand. Yield = 8 patties.

5. Add olive oil to a depth of 1/8″ to a non-stick 10″ pan (coat the bottom). Heat until shimmering on medium heat.

6. Carefully add the patties (fritters) to the pan and let them cook about 4 minutes until golden brown on the bottom. Gently flip the patties and cook for another three minutes. Drain on a plate lined with paper towels.

7. Whisk together 1 Tbsp olive oil, 1 Tbsp lemon juice and a pinch of salt. Adjust to taste.

8. Toss the arugula greens with the olive oil/ lemon dressing and serve with fritters. So delicious and different as a main meal or on the side!

Recipe was slightly adapted from Food 52, Emma Laperruque, whom I thank for the inspiration. Any product endorsements are simply because I use them. I have not received compensation.

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